Former Standard Group Strategy and Content Editor Peter Opondo has spoken out for the first time since his bizarre sacking last week.
Through an emotional Facebook post on Monday night, Opondo opened up about his controversial exit from the company where he was touted as the man who would turn around its broadcast division.
The journalist who joined Standard Media Group from Mediamax Limited revealed that for the first time in his illustrious 20-year career, he had been relieved of his duties over purported “unsatisfactory performance”, without any formal appraisal or feedback.
“There was no documentation or minutes about my alleged performance shortcomings. There was never a discussion with or feedback from my boss,” he wrote in part of the long message to his followers.
According to Opondo, the human resource manager only informed him that his boss was unsatisfied with his work and felt he was not the right person for the job, something which he found hard to take.
“Fair enough, every boss is entitled to their own opinion. What about facts?” he questioned.
Additionally, the journalist claims he was offered two choices of either signing a termination letter or resign of his own volition in order to “protect his professional reputation”.
The company promised to announce that he had left to pursue “personal interests”.
“I chose to embrace my sacking,” he wrote.
From the final bit of his story, Opondo seems to have chosen to accept the harsh reality and move on either way.
He, however, promises to bounce back soon and fight for vindication.
“It is what it is. This is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s someone’s opinion about me, it doesn’t change who I am. I am pretty sure I will be vindicated soon,” he finished off.
Opondo’s exit from Standard barely five months after his appointment was a stark contrast to his entry that was marked with pompous epithets.
Insiders say that the journalist found himself between the rock place of maintaining professional standards and the hard place of entrenched political interests from Standard Group godfathers.
His troubles have been linked to his connections with Deputy President William Ruto with whom he shares a long-time friendship that goes way back.
At some point, he was the DP’s point man at Mediamax Networks when he held substantial shares in the media company.
It is understood the main shareholders in the struggling media company, who include President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family and Equity Group CEO Dr James Mwangi, forced out the DP and bought off his shares.
Mediamax runs People Newspaper, K24 TV among other media outlets including Kameme and Milele FM radio stations.
Since he joined Standard, it is said William Ruto has been getting more airtime on KTN and KTN News, which rubbed the management the wrong way given that Ruto is a political rival to Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who incidentally represents the Moi family’s interests in the group as main shareholders.
Being a media veteran, Opondo knew it would not be easy to get away with such an in-house ‘crime’ but hoped to be shielded by the professional ethos and the goodwill that brought him on board.
But unfortunately for him, this wasn’t to be at Standard Group: where great journalists have been sacrificed before at the altar of political expediency.
Here is his full Facebook post below.
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